For years and years, this was a large, multi-acre horse pasture. The seasons would roll by, the horses being boarded there would come and go, the cicadas would send everyone to sleep in the summer, and snows would soften the landscape in the winter.
Then the horses went away. The field went fallow and the property fell into decline. I feared for the worst.
Well… the new normal has just landed with a thud.
This was still a large undisturbed field with outbuildings sprinkled across it until early last fall, when the bulldozers arrived, flattened everything in sight, and began carving new topography out of the soil. Mounds were built up to form foundations for structures, and studs quickly erupted like magic out of the dirt. Frantic activity continued apace through the winter, until earlier this week they hurriedly paved the driveway and slapped down the sod; the fresh concrete behind me was still curing when I took this photo. And this is just the first of these monstrosities being built on the former horse pasture; many more are in the works.
The same thing is happening in all the other open green spaces around where we live.
When we moved here back in 1993, I told Cindy that I fully expected the surrounding rural fields and woods to become filled with urban blight within the next 35 to 40 years. We’re at the 23 year mark now, but I think my prediction is still on track. Every year since then we’ve seen the steady progress of the real estate developers and their ugly work steadily encroaching toward our tiny town; at some point in the future, it will become an endless plain of Potomac McMansion wannabes, vertical townhouses, squeezed single-family homes, and ratty low-income housing. And we’ll be using the same congested road systems we presently use, and sucking profligate amounts of water from aquifers that can’t sustain the amounts we draw even now.
Hopefully Cindy and I will be retired and gone by then, because I never want to live in that nightmare.